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Fewer Students from Abroad

The number of international graduate students in the US has fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

It adds that a survey from the nonprofit Council of Graduate Schools found that while international applications to doctoral and master's programs in the US have risen in recent years, the number of first-time enrollees into programs declined in fall 2020, as compared to fall 2019. This drop, the survey says, is likely due to the pandemic, noting that a number of students deferred their enrollment. 

In particular, the survey found a decline in the number of international students enrolling in graduate school of 39 percent. This was especially true for students from China and India, as enrollments of students from those countries fell by 37 percent and 66 percent, respectively. 

"The first-time international graduate student enrollment decreases are alarming, because they undermine the international diversity and vitality of US graduate programs," CGS President Suzanne Ortega says in a statement. She notes though that with the combination of "the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on health concerns and international travel, and the lack of consistent and timely direction from the Trump Administration regarding international graduate student visa policy, we were prepared to see declines."